25 May 2012

Just finished reading...

A Fatal Fleece (Seaside Knitters #6) by Sally Goldenbaum.

It's too bad that Sea Harbor, Massachusetts is a fictional town. If it were real, I'd spend time there every summer and hang out with the Seaside Knitters group.

In this installment of the charming series, the elderly Birdie Favazza discovers that she has a granddaughter she knew nothing about. Actually a step-granddaughter, Gabby is the grandchild of Birdy's third husband Joseph Marietti. They are introduced by Joseph's younger brother Nicholas, who brings her to visit and then, due to an emergency, ends up leaving her with his sister-in-law while he rushes off to deal with it.

Gabby turns out to be a charming 10-year-old with a knack for crochet. She's even designed a knit cap (known in Canada as a touque and in the US as a beanie, which I've always thought of as a striped hat with a propeller on it). But, I digress.

Gabby captivates the her grandmother, the Seaside Knitters and Birdie's housekeeper, Ella and chauffeur, Harold. On her first night in Sea Harbor, when Birdy goes to the Knitters' meeting, Gabby stays with Ella and Harold. Early in the evening, Birdy receives a call from Ella telling her that Gabby's gone. A typical pre-teen, Gabby doesn't think to tell them she's gone on a bike ride to explore the town. She's finally found, visiting with a misanthropic elderly fisherman known as Finnegan. Since the death of his wife, Finnegan has isolated himself and let his house and property fall apart. The only person he occasionally converses with is lobsterwoman Cass Halloran, who regularly brings him food.

But when Finnegan is found dead near his own home, wearing a vest that Cass knit for him, the young woman becomes the prime suspect. Of course, the Seaside Knitters have to prove Cass's innocence, which is complicated by the presence of a bright and curious ten-year-old.

As usual, the Knitters eat well, both at home, at their meetings, and at local restaurants. Food and drink are described in detail, which means the reader craves good food and wine while reading. Yarn and knitting projects are described in  tasty terms like  luscious and mouthwatering.

Goldenbaum includes one knitting pattern (for a cardigan that Nell makes for Gabby), but there are more on her website, as well as recipes for some of the tantalizing meals she describes.

FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of the book for me to review.

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